Zenaida Diaz, 99, entered eternal rest on Thursday, October 29, 2020, in Laredo, Texas.
Zenaida Díaz was born in Tepatitlán de Morelos, Jalisco, Mexico, on June 4, 1921. As was common for women in rural Mexico at the time, she was not afforded formal education, instead learning from the people and land of Los Altos; subsequently working alongside them to cultivate the land and its animals. Life led her to her husband Roman Diaz during one of his visits back home to Tepatitlán from Chicago. Their romance blossomed via letters which were dictated to, and read aloud by, a friend beneath the glimmer of candlelight. Their union christened, she moved with him to East Chicago, Indiana. Although the transition to the frigid and urban-industrial environment of the Rust Belt was difficult, she thrived. She was known for her industriousness, humility, religious devoutness, charity to strangers, respect for nature, and nurturing supportiveness. This manifested in raising the 4 children that she bore there, supporting her husband in his work at the steel mill and worker’s union, fostering relationships with and welcoming other immigrants, learning to read to follow her bible, and picking up English. After Roman’s retirement, they moved to Laredo, Texas to allow their children to finish their education in a warmer part of the USA, with the hopes of moving back to Jalisco once their children were independent. Although the love of her life passed in 1972, she remained steadfast in living according to her values. With a space to grow her own garden, she nurtured a slice of Eden with seasonal harvests of figs, persimmons, tangerines, peaches, bananas, nopales, and tunas arising from verdant hedges and rich blossoms of roses, bugambilias, daisies, and more. She supported her family through hardships, was involved with her church, cooked for passing indigent peoples in need, and maintained her household. After half a century as a resident, she studied for and passed the citizenship exam, cementing her place within her adopted country at the age of 71. She was healthy throughout life, save for a neurodegenerative condition that slowly and progressively limited her ability to do the things she loved for the last 10 years.
Mrs. Diaz is preceded in death by her loving husband, Roman Diaz; parents, Catarino Gonzalez and Paula Juarez.
Left to cherish her memory are her children, Guadalupe Diaz, Frances Brenes, Elouisa Diaz, Raul Diaz (Sylvia); grandchildren, Crystal Brenes, Raul R. Diaz, David Gonzalez, Gabriela Cisneros (Ismael), and Victoria Espinoza (Victor). Mrs. Diaz is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
A very special thank you to Dr. Carlos Orces and his staff and her two caregivers, Maria Muñoz and Fabiola Muñoz for the care and attention provided to our mother.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, November 2, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. from Hillside Funeral Home to Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. A mass will be celebrated at 9:00 a.m.
Interment will follow to the family plot at the Calvary Catholic Cemetery.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the family kindly asks all those wishing to express their condolences in person to maintain social distancing orders, all necessary restrictions will be observed in order to protect the health and safety of those in attendance. In accordance with the city ordinance, the number of visitors will be limited. All visitors must wear face coverings while inside the building. Hand sanitizer is provided upon entry. Continue to practice social distancing while inside the funeral home chapel. We continue to ask that those at risk or those not feeling well stay home and reach out to the family through our website www.hillsidefuneral.com
Arrangements are under the direction of Hillside Funeral Home, 310 Hillside Road.